Valverde: Pique deserves respect

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde believes Gerard Pique deserves respect on social media but has hit out at “the free bar to be had” by its users.

Pique came under fire for his tweets that seemingly encouraged Catalans to vote for independence from Spain, but Valverde had no issue with the defender’s comments and urged others to adopt the same stance.

“[Handball Coach] Valero Rivera said that the difficult thing is to keep winning because you must always be on your toes,” the Coach said at a Press conference for Sunday’s visit of Las Palmas in La Liga.

“It’s very important to pick up the three points before the international break.

“Las Palmas like to fight for possession and cause damage through their play. [New boss] Ayestaran will stick with that.

“Deulofeu? There are 18 that I can call up and only 11 can play. I can’t do anything else.

“If you try to convince someone to carry out a project, their football must be reflected in victories, especially at the start.

“Pique’s opinion is to be respected, like everyone else’s. It’s a matter of freedom of expression.

“There’s a free bar to be had on social media, that’s the problem. Ultimately, it’s an issue of education, respecting others.

“Messi? The fact he can surpass Puyol [for number of appearances] gives you an idea of ​​his ability, which is to pulverise records. He’s spectacular.

“Semedo? He’s a quick player who can face strong opponents with guarantees.

“I’m also lucky to have Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal. I don’t like very big squads, that’s for sure.”

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Deulofeu

Injuries/suspensions: Dembele, Rafinha, Vermaelen (I)

Las Palmas: Chichizola; Michel, Bigas, Aythami, Ximo; Javi Castellano, Aquilani; Tana, Viera, Oussama; Calleri

Injuries/suspensions: Halilovic, Momo, Remy, Samper, Vitolo, Dani Castellano (I)

Referee: Munuera Martinez

Form guide: Barca (W W W W W) Las Palmas (L L W W L)

Previous meeting: Las Palmas 1-4 Barca

Venue: Camp Nou

Kick-off time: 19:45 BST/20:45 CET (LIVE on Football Espana)

Tags Ernesto Valverde